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Two former lawyers at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius have formed the latest new firm in Los Angeles. Neal Salisian and Richard Lee, both litigators, have formed Salisian Lee to cater to entrepreneurs, real estate developers, small business owners, commercial leasing companies and inventors looking for flexible and lower-cost billing rates from lawyers with experience at big law firms. “Either they can’t afford the rates or, because they can’t afford the rates, they go to a place that can’t offer them the legal services and level of skill they need for their type of sophisticated matter,” Lee said of his clients. “We both reached the point, especially with big firm training, where we can offer that.” He expects the firm to offer varying billing structures based on a client’s needs. Options could include contingency fees, flat rates, discounts or different types of retainer agreements. Lee hopes to build a firm of between five and 10 lawyers within five years, including partners and associates. Although most will probably be litigators, he expects to hire a transactional attorney. Lee worked at Holland & Knight for about six years before he joined Morgan Lewis, where he and Salisian worked together from 2007 to 2009. Lee spent the past year working at Reeder Lu, a boutique firm in Century City, Calif. Salisian has been an associate at Morgan Lewis’s Los Angeles office for more than five years. “This is something I wanted to do for a long time,” Salisian said. “Most of my life I’ve had an entrepreneurial spirit and always wanted to open my own business, my own law firm. This has been in the works in my head for a long time.” The firm is the latest boutique to open in Los Angeles. In June, five lawyers from Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro left to form Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae. In January, a group of 10 lawyers left Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro to launch Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside. Last year, three partners from Irell & Manella left to form Kendall Brill & Klieger.

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